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N court whoso demaundes
IN Whet wame doen mod excell;
For my conceit I must needes say,
Faire Bridges beares the bel :
Upon whose lively cheeke,
To prove my judgment true, The rose and lillie seeme to strive
For equall change of hewe :
And therwithall so well
Hir graces all agree,
In hir sweet face to bee.
VIII. THE BEGGAR'S DAUGHTER OF BEDNALL
This popular old ballad was written in the reign of Elizabeth, as appears not only from ver. 23, where the arms of England are called the “ Queenes armes ; but from its tune's being quoted in other old pieces, written in her time. See the ballad on MARY AMBREE in this volume. -An ingenious gentleman has assured the Editor, that he has formerly seen another old song on the same subject, compojed in a different measure from this ; which was truly beautiful, if we may judge from the only stanza he remembred: in this it was said of the old beggar, that “ down his neck
his reverend lockes
The blossomes of the grave.” The following ballad is chiefly given from the Editor's folia MS, compared with two ancient printed copies : the concluding stanzas, which contain the old Beggar's discovery of himself, are not however given from any of these, being very different from those of the vulgar ballad. They were communicated to the Editor in manuscript; but he will not answer for their being genuine : be rather thinés them the modern production of some person, who was offenced at the absurdities, and inconsistencies, which so remarkably frevailed in this part of the forg, as it ficod before : whereas by the alteration of a few lines, the fiory is rendered much more affecting, and is reconciled to probability and true liflory. For this informs us, that at the decipve battle of Evesham,
(fought Aug. 4. 1265.) when Simon de Montfort, the great earl of Leicester, was sain at the head of the barons, bir eldest Jon Henry fell by his fide, and in consequence of that defeat, his whole family funk for ever, the king beftowing their great honours and poffeffions on bis second Jon Edmund carl of Lancaster.
PART THE FIRST.
TT was a blind beggar, had long loft his fight,
He had a faire daughter of bewty most bright; And many a gallant brave fuiter had thee, For none was soe comelye as pretty Bessee. And though shee was of favor moft faire, Yett feeing shee was but a blinde beggars heyre, Of ancyent housekeepers despised was thee, Whose sonnes came as suitors to prettye Bessee. Wherefore in great forrow faire Bessy did fay, , Good father, and mother, let me goe away To feeke out my fortune, whatever itt bee. Her suite then they granted to prettye Bessee. Then Bessy, that was of bewtye foe bright, All cladd in gray russett, and late in the night From father and mother alone parted shee ; Who fighed and fobbed for prettye Bessee.
Shee went till shee came to Stratford-le-Bowe